Interdependent Web: Mourning Ibrahim, observing Lent, picking candidates

Interdependent Web: Mourning Ibrahim, observing Lent, picking candidates

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.


For Ibrahim

Like many other graduates of Starr King School for the Ministry, the Rev. Theresa Novak mourns the death of the school’s provost, Ibrahim Farajajé, on February 9:

Some souls carry their own light
The bright laughter of a love
So strong that it shines from their eyes
Upon everyone that they meet.
Stirring awake the call to justice and to faith. (Sermons, Poems, and Other Musings, February 10)

UUs observe Lent

Mr. Barb Greve introduces this year’s edition of “UU Lent,” which you can follow on social media with the hashtag #UULent.

As Unitarian Universalists, we share theological roots with our Christian siblings, who observe Lent from Ash Wednesday until Easter. However, rather than a practice of self-denial, we offer this opportunity to spend the Season of Lent engaged in a spiritual discipline of deep intention and appreciation of our world, our place in it, and an openness to Grace in our daily lives. (Barb’s Bantering, February 10)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern embraces the discipline of UU Lent, beginning with the invitation to consider mindfulness.

Mindfulness allows perceptions in . . . that don’t fit in my categories, and even challenge them. (Sermons in Stones, February 10)

The Rev. Catharine Clarenbach observes Lent in a “Christian-adjacent way.”

It is the beginning of Lent, a season to be marked by fasting, alms-giving, and prayer. It is the season of metanoia, or “turning back.” That turning is toward what is most important, toward God-as-you-understand-God, toward one’s own Divine Wisdom. Not just our own superficially good judgment, but deep, deep Divine Wisdom. (The Way of the River, February 10)

Valentine’s Day

The Rev. Victoria Weinstein addresses a new trend in her online dating life: “secret polyamory”—when married guys in “open marriages” proposition her.

I have not fought with other social justice activists for marriage equality so that those so joined could publicly benefit from the institution of marriage while privately turning to individuals like me for added comfort, sex, fun and diversion with no attendant responsibility or accountability. (PeaceBang, February 10)

The Rev. Cynthia Kane writes a Valentine’s Day love letter to those who are lonely.

Mourning the death of a loved one is tough. Yet when I minister to someone grieving, I can directly look into their eyes and say with absolute certainty that time will ease their grief and make their losses easier to bear.

Not so with loneliness. Especially not the romantic sort. Who can say when that tall, dark stranger (or short, fair one) will stumble into one’s life? Time doesn’t heal when one is hoping for love. Often, time feels like the enemy. (Captain Reverend Mother, February 9)

Lively conversations

After thinking it through thoroughly, New Hampshire resident Doug Muder decided to vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

I want everyone to know that there is substantial support for more radical solutions than we’ve been offered in past election cycles. I want Clinton to know that if she’s the nominee in the fall. I want the media to know that, so they won’t take seriously Republican claims that Hillary is some kind of left-wing extremist, or that her positions are as far left as public discussion ever needs to go. I want the next set of Democratic presidential candidates to know that, so liberals will be emboldened to run and moderates will take their left flank into account. (The Weekly Sift, February 8)

Nevertheless, Muder does not believe a voter-turnout powered revolution is possible. (The Weekly Sift, February 8)

The Rev. Tom Schade writes about the long-term effects of right-wing demonization of Hillary Clinton.

Most on the Left side don't see that what seems like the fact of her character is in fact a conclusion built upon 40 years of misogynistic accusations. She has been successfully demonized, and the Left accepts it as true. And then, the Left says with the straight face of the duped that they have no gender bias against her; they just like the man better.

There could be no greater repudiation in this election cycle of our right wing overlords than to see our way past their demonization of Hillary Clinton—to humanize her, see her as a human being doing the best she can in the circumstances that were imposed upon her. (The Lively Tradition, February 9)